30 useful phrases for presentations in English


For non-native speakers giving a presentation in English can be quite a challenge. There are just so many aspects to consider.  

Firstly, the audience. Do you know them well? In which case more informal language can be used. Or are they unfamiliar to you? If this is the case, then more formal expressions should be adopted. Whether you use more formal or informal language, it is important to engage the audience through positive body language and a warm welcome. Your tone of voice and changes in intonation are additional useful tools and you might consider asking them relevant questions (real or rhetorical). 

The audience also needs to see a clear and logical structure to follow you effortlessly. Useful linking expressions, when delivered well, provide effective ‘bridges’ guiding the audience from one point to the next.    

Here are 30 useful phrases for presentations in English for effective structure and linking.  

Introduction

  • Good morning/afternoon everyone and welcome to my presentation. First of all, let me thank you all for coming here today.
  • Let me start by saying a few words about my own background.
  • As you can see on the screen, our topic today is......
  • My talk is particularly relevant to those of you who....
  • This talk is designed to act as a springboard for discussion.
  • This morning/ afternoon I’m going to take a look at the recent developments in.....

Presentation structure

  • In my presentation I’ll focus on three major issues.
  • This presentation is structured as follows....
  • The subject can be looked at under the following headings.....
  • We can break this area down into the following fields....

Timing

  •  It will take about X minutes to cover these issues.

Handouts

  • Does everybody have a handout / copy of my report?
  • I’ll be handing out copies of the slides at the end of my talk.
  • I can email the PowerPoint presentation to anyone who would like it.  
  • Don’t worry about taking notes, I’ve put all the relevant statistics on a handout for you

Questions

  • If you have any questions, I am happy to answer them
  • If you don’t mind, I'd like to leave questions until the end of my talk /there will be time for a Q&A session at the end...

Sequencing phrases

  • My first point concerns...
  • First of all, I’d like to give you an overview of....
  • Next, I’ll focus on.....and then we’ll consider....
  • Then I’ll go on to highlight what I see as the main points of....
  • Finally, I’d like to address the problem of.....
  • Finally, I’d like to raise briefly the issue of....

Highlighting information

  • I’d like to put the situation into some kind of perspective
  • I’d like to discuss in more depth the implications of....
  • I’d like to make more detailed recommendations regarding....
  • I’d like you to think about the significance of this figure here
  • Whichever way you look at it, the underlying trend is clear

Conclusion

  • I’d just like to finish with the words of a famous scientist/ politician/ author.......
  • Now let’s go out and create opportunities for...! 

Hopefully, these phrases help you to vary your vocabulary for clear, well-structured presentations with a logical joined-up flow. The most important thing, of course, is that you are comfortable and confident in your delivery, which helps the audience feels relaxed and ready to be engaged by your subject matter. Good luck! 

Glossary 

Rhetorical -  (of a question) asked in order to produce an effect or to make a statement rather than to elicit information 

Audience -  spectators or listeners at a public event such as a play, film, concert, or meeting 

Effective-  successful in producing a desired or intended result 

Springboard-  springboard is also something that provides an opportunity to achieve something  

Handout- a document given to students or reporters that contains information about a particular subject 

Q&A – an abbreviation for ‘question and answer’ 

Related blog posts 

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